With over a million votes, Massachusetts voters confirmed that the Work and Family Mobility Act will stay as the law of Massachusetts, effective on July 1st, 2023
Now it’s a reality! The results are official: the majority of voters in Massachusetts have voted YES on Ballot Question 4, which means that the Work and Family Mobility Act will stay as the law of Massachusetts, effective on July 1st, 2023.
This victory belongs to all of us. Because of this vote, immigrants without authorized status who live in Massachusetts and meet all requirements will be able to apply for a standard Massachusetts Driver’s License.
This victory has been celebrated since last night by immigrant communities and all the organizations which formed the coalition that worked hard in this fight.
Lenita Reason, Executive Director of the Brazilian Worker Center and fellow Co-chair of the Yes On 4 Campaign, highlights the importance of the achievement:
“Massachusetts, along with our neighbors in Rhode Island, will now join the 16 other states that already have licenses for everybody. That makes 18 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, that do not limit the mobility of their residents based on immigration status. That is a huge victory, thank you! Everyone knows this fight was not easy. I have been a part of the fight for driver’s licenses for many, many years. We tried several times at the State House. And in 2019, the Brazilian Worker Center was ready to try again, and we found a great partner in 32BJ SEIU, which has Roxana Rivera as Executive Vice President and co-chair of the YesOn4 Campaign.
It started with a discussion at a restaurant, and it grew into Driving Families Forward, a coalition of over 270 organizations, businesses, and leaders across the state. We had to survive two legislative sessions and one global pandemic but in June of this year, we finally won the overwhelming passage of the Work and Family Mobility Act”.
We are so proud of this victory because we made history when the bill passed and became law and now because it was confirmed by voters. We showed that federal immigration status should have nothing to do with driving privileges.
Now, let us look forward! We have an executive branch now headed for the first time by strong, progressive women! Together, we must inform the community of our victory, and we must work with state agencies to be sure everything is in place for everyone, regardless of their immigration status, to begin applying for standard driver’s licenses on July 1, 2023.
The law requires either a valid passport or a valid consular ID, plus one more form of valid identification. As state agencies make regulations, we need to go to community meetings. We need to make comments. We need to make the process function best for everybody.
We would like to express our gratitude to everyone that helped us in this journey:
We want to thank our amazing, strong, and diverse coalition! It’s worth thanking you all again.
To the elected officials who sponsored and passed this legislation, and spread our message on the campaign trail.
To our labor brothers and sisters who never stop fighting for Massachusetts’ working families.
To the transportation and public health experts, our policy experts, and our steadfast partners that keep driving families forward.
To law enforcement who have been so wonderful in standing with us.
To our Yes On 4 Campaign, our campaign manager Crisayda Belen and our co-chair Chrystel Murietta Ruiz, 32BJ staff – Frank Soults and Pablo Ruiz.
Our amazing team at Field First, Dalida Rocha, Leo Baez, Javier Luengo-Garrido, Kaitlyn Solares, Emily Neckes, Yonerky Santana, Cece Graham, Dewit Impact Group, Nicole Caravella Malone, and Liberty Square Group.
Our coalition reflected our diversity. We are white, black, and brown, native-born and immigrant-born, with authorized status and without, just like our state, just like our nation.
By lifting our voices, we showed that, in questions of road safety as in everything else, we are, today and forever, all in this together.
Massachusetts is driving families forward!
Thank you, everybody!
Executive Director of the Brazilian Worker Center
Co-chair of the Driving Family Forward Coalition
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